Battleland

“Keep Your Mouth SEALed!”

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So a group of former Special Forces guys is complaining that national-security leaks from the Obama Administration are harming national security. Some of the recent leaks – about the Stuxnet computer virus aimed at the heart of Iran’s nuclear program, for example – have seemed brazen to Battleland.

But it seems a tad incongruous for the group to complain about a President who has embraced their way of war-fighting and zealously prosecuted leakers.

This is all part of the democratization of the media, wrought by the Internet. The 22-minute video never could have been created – never mind seen by nearly 1 million viewers this week – without it. Of course, the group behind the video, the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, gets far greater exposure when cable TV networks – and places like Battleland – report on its claims.

Their mission statement says it’s time to “STOP the politicians, President Obama and others, from politically capitalizing on US national security operations and secrets!”

Of course, one of those speaking out has been Admiral Bill McRaven, a former SEAL who now commands the U.S. Special Forces Command. Earlier this year, retired Army lieutenant general James Vaught took McRaven to task for the attention that his SEALs and other special-ops units were getting:

Since the time when your wonderful team went and drug bin Laden out and got rid of him, and more recently when you went down and rescued the group in Somalia, or wherever the hell they were, they’ve been splashing all of this all over the media. I flat don’t understand that.

Now back when my special operators extracted Saddam [Hussein] from the hole, we didn’t say one damn word about it. We turned him over to the local commander and told him to claim that his forces drug him out of the hole, and he did so. And we just faded away and kept our mouth shut.

Now I’m going to tell you, one of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy’s going to be there ready for you, and you’re going to fly in and he’s going to shoot down every damn helicopter and kill every one of your SEALs. Now, watch it happen. Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media.

He may have a point. But the bottom line is clear: it’s better to have political opponents complaining about your boasting over a successful mission to take out Osama bin Laden, then to have them decrying that he remains on the loose 11 years after 9/11.

11 comments
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Rob Kane
Rob Kane

This is just a hit-piece on Obama. OpSec is important prior to completion, not so much afterwards. Obama gave enormous credit to the whole team involved.

Karmo
Karmo

Did we forget that this is nothing new?

Karmo
Karmo

This is a group of NAVY SEALS, not Special Forces Soldiers,  who are complaining.  SEALS are generaly publicity hounds and they can't go on a mission without it being splatttered all of ver the news.  The NAVY loves it and takes every oppurtunity to boast about the SEALS. Most of all this crap is hype and about the money  they can get congress to provide..

This is not about OPSEC since, motly in every critical SEAL Team 6 Mission, you always get a small video in the press withing hours of the operation if it all goes well. SEALS love  hollywod and is taken a bit of their amp;)amp;*

SOONERGRUNT,  you are 1001% right.....You don't see Army Special Forces or 1st-SFOD, in the news giving away tactics and techniques or displaying a piece of new equipement because they wanted a 30 sec snip in the press. Any one who knows about the SOF community will tell the SEALS take all the credit, but they don't do everything you see in teh press and that is fine with the rest of us.

 Special Forces and SEALs have two different mission sets, although most of their training overlaps. Someone in a SF ODA will see more combat than a SEAL Team member because of the nature of "how" they work.  For example an SF ODA may be conducting FID mission and training a group to fight during teh day and at night they are out conducting direct acti missions, anything from taking down a target to hostage rescue or some other unknow mission. . My point is combat is frequent in SF.

The_Gull
The_Gull

One word from me and a half dozen men rush in and paint my house. That does not mean that I picked up a brush, merely that I paid them to do it. I abhor all this publicity and leaking. I see no reason to tell the world everything we do and how we do it. If the same people today were running World War II, the Allies never would have won it and that's according to secrets released long after the war was over. Loose lips sink ships! Where have I heard that before? Hmmm!

vstillwell
vstillwell

If Obama stood by a "Mission Accomplished" banner in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier, I might agree with them. Might. 

I'm just grateful our President deemed it necessary to focus on the guy who attacked us in the first place. 

soonergrunt
soonergrunt

I remember night vision enhanced video of a special ops raid on an Iraqi hospital to rescue PFC Jessica Lynch.  I remember that video coming out almost immediately on CNN after Lynch was rescued and before she was even out of Iraq.  I remember night-vision enhanced video showing Rangers jumping into Afghanistan on a raid of a compound in Kandahar in late 2001 Also shown on CNN.  Actual video of actual operations released shortly after the operations took place.  Video that showed the equipment they were carrying, their methods of movement and actions on the objectives. Nobody ever started up an organization to decry that stuff, which was a hell of a lot more useful to an enemy than the President making an announcement that ANY President would've been climbing over his own Secret Service detail to make.

If this had happened during the Bush administration, we'd have been treated to video of Bush wearing a tactical vest, hockey helmet, NVGs, throat mic, drop-leg rig, and an M-4 posing in front of the SEALs base in Virginia.

I'd like to know who's paying these people's bills, because this stinks like Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer.

totemynote
totemynote

I agree. There are many, many examples that prove this to be more anti-Obama than pro-opsec.

anonguest7619
anonguest7619

Sigh. I seem to recall GWB in a flight suit, strutting around an aircraft carrier, declaring he'd single-handedly won the Iraq War. (see how your political affiliation messes with your perception of reality???)

US_Army_Veteran
US_Army_Veteran

Our Men in uniform such as the Rangers and Special Forces are very brave, but to say that the CIC did not lead the operation is just not respectful. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

"Their mission statement says it’s time to 'STOP the politicians, President Obama and others, from politically capitalizing on US national security operations and secrets!' "

And yet by singling out the Administration like this, they're doing the exact same politicizing that they claim to be against.  The Obama administration is not the first, nor will it be the last, to try and capitalize on successful operations.  That's just the way it works.


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